Initial post-game thoughts – NIU


OSU Football

  • The offensive explosion at the beginning of the game. Tressel was clearly going for the throat. No Tresselball in the first half.
  • Troy Smith – almost no rushing yards. This wasn’t because he couldn’t get them; it was because he stayed in the pocket the entire game. What a surprise. The best mobile QB in football, and Tressel only called one QB rushing play (an option).
  • Beanie – this kid is the future of OSU football, folks. He did everthing he was asked to do, save for the one fumble. I’m not going to be too hard on him for that, though. Yet.


  • As I predicted, the OSU secondary was going to have to contain Garrett Wolfe. The OSU LB corps will be doing laps all week for how many times they got suckered by the screen pass. NIU kept getting the ends and LBs to bite on rush. This is cause for concern going into Texas next week; however, neither Charles nor Young is in the same class as Wolfe is, so I don’t look for the screen to be as successful next week.
  • Kickers – we’ve been spoiled for the past six years. I just didn’t think we’d miss two FGs. Everyone has been saying OSU’s defense is the weak point, but that’s not true. Replacing Huston will be the biggest challenge.
  • Zwick’s fumble. Sigh. It’s almost like the dude’s not even trying anymore.

Overall, NIU was a perfect first opponent for OSU. There will be tons of film that the OSU coaches will use to improve their game plans. As we said before, OSU is in a much better position than Texas going into next week. They had a much tougher opponent, and will take more away from NIU than Texas will take away from their practice scrimmage against the Mean Green.

Final score: 35-12 (sportsMonkey’s prediction was 34-13. Not that he’s gloating or anything.)

Update: 9/4/06 (by el Kaiser)

I just wanted to mention a few things now that we’ve had a chance to marinate in the juices of week #1.

The defense looks like it should be okay, but I’m concerned about the defensive backfield. Even deep in the third quarter, the Buckeyes looked confused. They’re going to learn as the season goes on, but they need to improve right now. That being said, even with the confusion and inexperience, all 11 guys were flying to the ball. Brandon Mitchell and Freeman looked sharp and Gholston is going to be a beast.

Like the Monkey said, Beanie Wells is going to be an amazing running back. He is, indeed, the real deal.

I’d also like to point out that Ginn scored two (count ’em, one, two) TDs, as I predicted. I didn’t see them coming in the first quarter, but I’ll take it however I can get it. Oh, and Beanie had 10 carries. Man, I’m good.

**Update: 9/6/06 (by sportsMonkey)
OSU vs. NIU (week one): Time until the regional ABC broadcasting crew managed to avoid bringing up [HWSNBN]: 27 minutes, 30 seconds. Getting better, guys. Pretty soon you’ll be constraining yourselves to hold off talking about him until after halftime.


  1. “Neither Charles nor Young is in the same class as Wolfe”? You must be joking.

  2. aaron – that’s not a dig at Charles or Young, who are fine RBs, but it’s a compliment to Wolfe, who is a great RB.

    I’ll let you look up his stats… but one interesting stat that Tressel pointed out in a news conference this week was that last year, NIU and OSU played against three common opponents, (Michigan, Northwestern, and Miami), and Wolfe had better rushing performances against those teams than OSU did.

    He’s a stud, and that’s why he’s the mid-major Heisman darkhorse.

    I just can’t get over how much success he has for how physically small he is.

  3. Charles is the fastest player in college football, period. (although Ginn isn’t far behind).

    NCAA Division I 2006 Outdoor
    Track & Field Championship 100 Meter Dash Finals

    Name Year School Finals
    1 Xavier Carter SO LSU 10.09
    2 Walter Dix SO Florida State 10.18
    3 Demi Omole JR Wisconsin 10.21
    4 Travis Padgett FR Clemson 10.24
    5 Jamaal Charles FR Texas 10.27

  4. longhorn

    If you’re only using 100m times, that’s a bad indicator of game speed. Better to base it on a large sample, e.g, Ginn competes in the 100, 200, 400, 55 hurdles, 100 hurdles, etc. and holds what may be the unbreakable high-school records for high hurdles (usually considered a better indicator of leg burst strength and endurance).

    Not sure what Ginn’s 100m times are, but they’re probably only a few thousandths behind Charles.

    Again, though, if Ginn didn’t run good routes, or have good hands, his speed wouldn’t be worth anything. Same with Wolfe. They’re not just fast, they’re great football players.

    Charles is definitely up there speed- and talent- wise. Reminds me a lot of Ginn last year. He’s definitely the future of Texas.

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